Birding

Over the last several years, I have been tracking the elusive fauna wherever we camp and hike. Birds are both rewarding and challenging, so I decided to set up a page to put all the species I have shot (well, with a camera) and identified.

For now, they are organized by order. Perhaps if I get enough, I will further classify them by family. 

I want to acknowledge the help of my friends Jon, Katy, and Judy for their assistance in identifying these birds, and also credit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website, The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada, Sibley Birds West, and Birds of North America for being of assistance in the field and afterward. If you disagree with my identification, feel free to message me or comment. Just be sure to give detailed information regarding your identification so I can research the differences.

I have generally included only one picture of each species (unless I have a picture of both a male and female.) It was quite difficult to decide which picture was "best," particularly when I have several good pictures. If I take a better picture later, I will probably swap it in for the old one.

All pictures were taken of birds in the wild. Most are North American natives, but a few are not, such as the peafowl. I have omitted my numerous zoo pictures. The thrill is in the chase...

For those who care, I have used the following cameras for these shots. For those up through roughly February of 2017, I have used Sony Cybershot subcompacts of various vintages. After that time, I switched to a Nikon Coolpix P530. Since most of my shots have been while hiking, camping, or exploring with the kids, I have gone for light weight, long zoom, and portability over other considerations.

Generally, I think the newer pictures are better - better equipment and better technique with practice. But some birds have been hard to capture, so what I have is what I have until I get a better one.



Cranes and Rails
(order: Gruiformes)

 American Coot, Fulica americana
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017 (top)
May Museum and Preserve, Nevada, 2018 (bottom)

Cuckoos, Roadrunners, and Anis
(order: Cuculiformes)


Greater Roadrunner,
Kern River, California, 2017 (top)
Joshua Tree National Park, California, 2018 (bottom)  

Ducks, Geese, and Swans
(order: Anseriformes)


Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
Lake Success, California, 2017 (female (l) and male (r), top)
Upper Salmon Lake, California (Ducklings, bottom)
 




Mallard (female and ducklings, top; male, middle; juveniles, bottom), Anas platyrhynchos
Shaver Lake, California, 2017 (top)
Pismo Beach State Park, California, 2017 (middle)
Lower Tamarack Lake, California, 2018 (bottom)


Ruddy Duck, Oxyura jamaicensis
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017 (male, breeding plumage, top)
Pismo State Beach, California, 2019 (males, non-breeding plumage, middle)
Kern National Wildlife Refuge, California, 2020 (female, bottom)


Cinnamon Teal (male), Anas cyanoptera 
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017


Northern Pintail (female), Anas acuta
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017



 Northern Shoveler (female, top; male, bottom), Anas clypeata
Pismo State Beach, California, 2019





Bufflehead, Bucephala albeola
Pismo State Beach, California, 2019 (Male, top)
Wright's Lake, California, 2018 (Female, middle)
Wright's Lake, California, 2018 (Ducklings, bottom)

Ring-necked Duck (female, left; male, right), Aythya collaris
 May Museum and Preserve, Nevada, 2018
 
 

Gadwall, Mareca strepera
Kern National Wildlife Refuge, California (2020)
 
 
Common Goldeneye, Bucephala changula
Bakersfield, CA 2021
 


 Surf Scoter, Melanitta perspicillata
Morro Bay, CA 2019 


Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
Lake Success, CA 2018 (top)
South Warner Wilderness, CA, 2020 (bottom)

Frigatebirds, Boobies, Cormorants, Darters, and Allies
(order: Suliformes)


Double-crested Cormorant (juvenile, top; adult, bottom), Phalacrocorax auritus
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017 (top)
Morro Bay State Park, California, 2018 (bottom)

Pelagic Cormorant,  Phalacrocorax pelagicus
Montana de Oro State Park, California, 2017

Grebes
(order: Podicipediformes)

 
Lake Success, California, 2017 

Clark's Grebe, Aechmophorus clarkii
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017 

Horned Grebe (non-breeding plumage), Podicepts auritus
Shaver Lake, CA, 2018

 Eared Grebe, Podicepts nigricollis
(non-breeding plumage, top) Jalama Beach, CA 2018
(various, bottom) Owens Lake, CA 2021

 
Grouse, Quail, and Allies
(order: Galliformes)


Wild Turkey (females, top; male, bottom), Meleagris gallopavo
Great Basin National Park, Nevada, 2017 (top)
Pinnacles National Park, California, 2015 (bottom)


 Sooty Grouse (chick, top;  female, bottom) Dendragapus fuliginosus
Sequoia National Park, California, 2016 (top)
Yosemite National Park, CA 2019 (bottom)

Indian Peafowl (females, top; male, bottom), Pavo cristatus
Montana de Oro State Park, California, 2017 (top)
Hart Park, Bakersfield, CA, 2021 (bottom)


California Quail, Callipepla californica
Montana de Oro State Park, California, 2017

Mountain Quail, Oreortyx pictus
Sequoia National Park, 2020
 
Gambel's Quail (male and female), Callipepla gambelii
Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada 2021
 

Hawks, Kites, Eagles, and Allies 
(order: Accipitriformes) 
 

Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
Kern Water Bank, 2017 (top)
Bakersfield, CA, 2019 (bottom)

 Cooper's Hawk (juvenile), Accipiter cooperii
Jalama Beach, CA 2018


Osprey, Pandion haliaetus
Lassen National Forest, CA, 2018



 Red-shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
Juvenile or white morph, Bakersfield, CA, 2015 (top)
Morro Bay State Park, 2018 (middle)
San Luis Obispo County, CA 2019 (bottom)


 White-tailed Kite, Elanus leucurus
Lake Success, CA 2018


Golden Eagle, Aquila chrysaetos
Grand Canyon National Park, 2018

American Kestrel, Falco sparverius
Jalama Beach, CA 2018
 

Northern Harrier, Circus hudsonius
Kern National Wildlife Refuge, California (2020)
 


California Condor, Gymnogyps californianus
Pinnacles National Park, California, 2016



Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
Montana de Oro State Park, CA, 2017
Nightjars, Swifts, and Hummingbirds
(order: Caprimulgiformes)


Anna's Hummingbird (male, top; female, middle, bottom), Calypte anna
Morro Bay State Park, California, 2018 (top)
Montana de Oro State Park, California, 2018 (middle)
Red Rock State Park, California, 2019 (bottom)

Pelicans, Herons, Ibises, and Allies
(order: Pelicaniformes)

Lake Success, California, 2017
 
Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis
Morro Bay, California, 2017

Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
Malibu Creek State Park, California, 2015 


 Great Egret, Ardea alba
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017

Snowy Egret, Egretta thula
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017



Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017



Green Heron,
Lake Success, California, 2020


 

Black-crowned Night-Heron (juvenile, top; adult, bottom), Nycticorax nicticorax
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017 (both)

 White-faced Ibis, Plegadis chihi
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017 
 

Perching Birds
(order: Passeriformes) 
 
Thrush Family (Turdidae)


Western Bluebird (top: female, bottom: male) Sialia mexicana
 Los Padres National Forest, California, 2017 (top)
Pinnacles National Park, California, 2018 (bottom)




 Mountain Bluebird, Sialia currucoides (male, top; female, bottom)
Tahoe National Forest, CA, 2018 (top)
Toiyabe National Forest, CA, 2020 (bottom)


 Varied Thrush, Ixorius naevius
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, CA, 2016


Hermit Thrush, Catharus guttatus
Pinnacles National Park, 2018





 American Robin, Turdus migratorius 
(top to bottom)
Kings Canyon National Park, 2018 (Female)
Shaver Lake, California, 2017 (Male)
Olympic National Park, Washington, 2019 (dark morph)
Morro Bay State Park, CA 2020 (leucistic morph)


Townsend's Solitaire, Myadestes townsendi
Sequoia National Park, CA, 2020

Swallow Family (Hirundinidae)

Cliff Swallows, Petrochelidon pyrrhonoda
La Purisima Mission State Park, California, 2017


Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
Janesville, CA, 2018


Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica
Modoc County, CA, 2020

Cave Swallow, Petrochelidon fulva
Carlsbad Caverns, NM, 2019

Crow Family (Corvidae)

 Steller's Jay, Cyanocitta stelleri 
Shaver Lake, CA, 2017


California Scrub-jay, Aphelocoma californica
Pinnacles National Park, California, 2015 


Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay,  Aphelocoma woodhouseii
Grand Canyon National Park, 2018 
 

Island Scrub-jay, Aphelocoma insularis
Channel Islands National Park, California, 2018

Canada Jay (aka Grey Jay) (adult, top; juvenile, bottom), Perisoreus canadensis
Mount Rainier National Park, WA 2019 (both)
 


 Clark's Nutcracker, Nucifraga columbiana
Great Basin National Park, NV, 2017


Black-billed Magpie, Pica hudsonia
Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado, 2015


Yellow-billed Magpie, Pica Nuttalli
San Benito County, California, 2020


 Common Raven, Corvus corax
Death Valley National Park, California, 2014


 American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
Pinnacles National Park, California, 2018



Nuthatch Family (Sittidae)



Red-breasted Nuthatch, Sitta canadensis
Walton Lake, OR, 2017


 White-breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
Grand Canyon National Park, 2018 (top)
Kaibab National Forest, Arizona, 2018 (bottom - chicks)


Pygmy Nuthatch, Sitta pygmaea
Los Padres National Forest, CA, 2018



Ictarids (Blackbirds, Orioles, Meadowlarks, Cowbirds) (Ictaridae)



 Red-winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoenicius (male, top; female, bottom)

Kern Water Bank, California, 2017 (top)
Lake Success, CA 2018 (bottom)


Tricolored Blackbird, Agelaius tricolor
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017

Brewer's Blackbird (male, top; female, bottom), Euphagus cyanocephalus
Morro Bay State Park, California, 2018


Yellow-headed Blackbird (male), Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
Owens Lake, CA 2021


 Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017 (top)
Success Lake, CA 2018 (bottom)


Great-tailed Grackle (female, top; male, bottom), Quiscalis mexicanus
Bakersfield, California, 2018



 

Bullock's Oriole (male, top; female, bottom), Icterus bullockii
Bakersfield, CA 2018 (top)
San Luis Obispo County, CA 2019 (bottom)


 Hooded Oriole, Icterus cucullatus
Cesar Chavez National Monument, California (2018)

Brown-headed Cowbird (male, top; female, bottom), Molothrus aterKings Canyon National Park, CA 2018 (top)
Jalama Beach, CA 2018 (bottom) 
 
 
Cardinal Family (Cardinalidea)

Western Tanager (male, top; female, bottom), Piranga ludoviciana
Kings Canyon National Park, California, 2018


 Black-headed Grosbeak (male, top; female, bottom), Pheucticus melanocephalus
Yosemite National Park, CA 2019 (top)
Kings Canyon National Park, CA 2018 (bottom)

 

Wren Family (Troglodytidae)



Cactus Wren, Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus
Red Rock State Park, California, 2019


Rock Wren, Salpinctes obsoletus
Red Rock Canyon State Park, California, 2018


 Bewick's Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
Morro Bay State Park, California, 2018


  Canyon Wren, Catherpies mexicanus
Guadalupe Mountains National Park, New Mexico, 2019


House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
Toiyabe National Forest, CA, 2020

Shrike Family (Laniidae)

 
 Loggerhead Shrike, Lanius ludovicianus
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA (2020)

Finch Family (Fringillidae)

 House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus (female, top; male, bottom)
Lake Success, CA 2018




  Cassin's Finch (male), Haemorhous cassinii
Kings Canyon National Park, CA, 2018




 Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
May Museum and Preserve, Nevada, 2018 (top)
Catalina State Park, Arizona, 2019 (middle)
Bakersfield, CA 2020 (bottom)


Lawrence's Goldfinch, Spinus lawrencei
Lake Success, CA, 2020

Starling Family (Sturnidae)


European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
Lake Success, CA 2018


New World Warbler Family (Parulidae)


Yellow-rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata
Lake Success, CA 2018 (top)
Bakersfield, CA 2020 (light morph, bottom)


 Nashville Warbler, Oreothlypis ruficapilla
Tahoe National Forest, CA, 2018


Mockingbird and Thrasher Family (Mimidae)

 Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
Lake Success, CA 2018


 California Thrasher, Toxostoma redivivum
Morro Bay State Park, California, 2018
 
Sage Thrasher, Oreoscoptes montanus
Red Rock Canyon, Nevada 2021
 


American Sparrow Family (Passerellidae)


Dark-eyed Junco, Junco hyemalis
"Oregon" coloration, top, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, California, 2017
"Gray headed" coloration, middle, Grand Canyon National Park, 2018
Juvenile "Oregon" coloration, bottom, Tahoe National Forest, CA, 2018

 
 
White-crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
Joshua Tree National Park, California, 2018 (adult, top)
Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, NV 2019 (juvenile, bottom)


 Black-throated Sparrow, Amphispiza bilineata
Red Rock Canyon State Park, California, 2018





Spotted Towhee (female, top; male, bottom), Pipilo maculatus
Pinnacles National Park, California, 2018 (top)
Morro Bay State Park, California, 2018 (bottom)


California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
Malibu Creek State Park, California, 2018


Canyon Towhee, Melozone fusca
Guadalupe Mountains National Park, New Mexico, 2019 

 Green-tailed Towhee, Pipilo chlorurus
Sequoia National Park, CA 2019 



Golden-crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
Pinnacles National Park, California, 2018




Fox Sparrow ("Thick Billed" coloration), Passerella iliaca
Tahoe National Forest, CA, 2018


Lark Sparrow, Chondestes grammacus
Lake Success, CA 2018


Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Aimophilia ruficeps 
Channel Islands National Park, CA, 2018


Rufous-winged Sparrow, Peucaea carpalis
Catalina State Park, Arizona, 2019



Chipping Sparrow, Spizella passerina
Catalina State Park, Arizona, 2019



Old World Sparrow Family (Passeridae)


House Sparrow, Passer domesticus
Catalina State Park, Arizona, 2019


 Tyrant Flycatcher Family (Tyrannidae)

 Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
Pinnacles National Park, California, 2018

Say's Phoebe, Sayornis saya
Panorama Preserve, CA 2020 (top)
Bakersfield, CA 2019 (bottom)


 
Western Kingbird, Tyrannus verticalis
Tulare County, CA, 2018


Western Wood-pewee, Contopus sordidulus
Tahoe National Forest, CA, 2018




Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Empidonax difficilis
Morro Bay State Park, California, 2020


 Cordilleran Flycatcher, Empidonax occidentalis
Grand Canyon National Park, 2018



Ash-throated Flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens
Kaibab National Forest, Arizona, 2018

 Olive-sided Flycatcher, Contopus cooperi
Tahoe National Forest, CA, 2018

 Vermillion Flycatcher (male), Pyrocephalus rubinus
Catalina State Park, Arizona, 2019


Silky Flycatcher Family (Ptiliogonatidae)
 

Phainopepla, Phoainopepla nitens
Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, NV 2019


Bushtit Family (Aegithalidae)

Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
Cesar Chavez National Monument, California (2018)



Tit Family (Paridae)


Mountain Chickadee, Poecile gambeli
Kings Canyon National Park, CA, 2018 (top)
Desolation Wilderness, CA, 2018 (bottom)



Juniper Titmouse, Baeolophus ridgwayi
Grand Canyon National Park, 2018



Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
Montana de Oro State Park, CA, 2018





Dipper Family (Cinclidae)



American Dipper (adult, top; juvenile, bottom), Cinclus mexicanus
Kern County, CA 2019 (top)
Multnomah Falls, OR 2019 (bottom)


Lark Family (Alaudidae)




Horned Lark, Eremophilia alpestris
Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, NV 2019


 
Pigeons and Doves
(order: Columbiformes)


Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
 Lake Success, CA 2018



Eurasian Collared-Dove, Streptopilia decaocto
Jalama Beach, CA 2018

White-winged Dove, Zenaida asiatica
Catalina State Park, Arizona, 2019

 Rock Pigeon, Columba livia
San Diego, CA 2019


Plovers, Sandpipers, and Allies
(order: Charadriiformes) 

Killdeer, Charadrius vociferus
Jalama Beach, CA 2018


Least Sandpiper, Calidris minutilla
Morro Bay, CA 2020 (top)
Kern National Wildlife Refuge, California 2020 (bottom)



Spotted Sandpiper (winter colors, top; summer colors, bottom), Actitis macularius
County Line Beach, Malibu, CA, 2018 (top)
La Jolla, CA, 2018 (bottom)


Sanderling, Calidris alba
Morro Bay, California, 2016 



 Short-billed Dowditcher, Limnodromus griseus
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017


Willet, Tringa semipalmata
 County Line Beach, Malibu, CA, 2018



Marbled Godwit, Limosa fedoa 
County Line Beach, Malibu, CA, 2018


Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus
Morro Bay, California, 2016 

Long-billed Curlew, Numenius americanus
Morro Bay, California, 2015



 Black-necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017


American Avocet, Recurvirostra americana
Owens Lake, CA 2021



  Forster's Tern, Sterna forsteri
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017 (top)
Lake Success, CA 2018 (bottom)



Caspian Tern, Hydroprogne caspia
Morro Bay, California, 2017




Western Gull, (juvenile, top; adult, bottom), Larus occidentalis
Montana de Oro State Park, California, 2017 (top), 2016 (bottom)

 California Gull, Larus Californicus
Jalama Beach, CA 2018



 
Heermann's Gull (juvenile, top; adult, bottom), Larus Heermanni
 La Jolla, CA, 2018

Bonaparte's Gull, Chroicocephalus philadelphia
Morro Bay, California, 2016

 Black Oystercatcher, Haematopus bachmani
Montana de Oro State Park, California, 2018



Pigeon Guillemot, Cepphus columba
Montana de Oro State Park, CA, 2018


Loons 
(order: Gaviiformes)

  Common Loon (non-breeding), Gavia immer
Morro Bay, CA 2020



Woodpeckers
(order: Piciformes)



White-headed Woodpecker (female, top; male, bottom), Picoides albolarvatus
Shaver Lake, CA, 2017





 
Indian Grinding Rock State Park, CA, 2016 (top)
Los Padres National Forest, CA, 2018 (bottom)
 


Acorn Woodpecker (male, top; female, bottom) Melanerpes formicivorus
Lopez Lake, CA 2019 (top)
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, California, 2017 (bottom)



Ladder-backed Woodpecker (male), Picoides scalaris
Joshua Tree National Park, California, 2018

 Gila Woodpecker (male, top; female, bottom), Melanerpes uropygialis
Catalina State Park, Arizona, 2019

Red-breasted Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus ruber
Tahoe National Forest, CA, 2018 (top)
Toiyabe National Forest, CA, 2020 (bottom)


Hairy Woodpecker, Dryobates villosus
Tahoe National Forest, CA, 2018


Downy Woodpecker (male), Dryobates pubescens
San Luis Obispo County, CA, 2019


Nutall's Woodpecker, Picoides nutallii
Morro Bay State Park, CA 2020


Black-backed Woodpecker (male), Picoides articus
South Warner Wilderness, CA, 2020

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